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How Organizations Can Help Employees with Financial Wellness

How Organizations Can Help Employees with Financial Wellness

While you might feel that an employee’s financial wellness is personal, studies have shown employees want help from their organization to make more educated decisions on retirement and savings. 

A recent survey by Retirement Rights found that 56% of respondents are aware of financial and retirement planning tools through their organization—but only 14% use them monthly. This suggests a lack of education around how these tools work.

Whether your organization offers financial wellness resources to employees or is considering providing them, one thing is for sure: the more employees are informed about benefits, the more valuable those benefits are. With 76% of respondents stating they value saving for the future over current spending, it’s clear employees are eager for financial wellness tools. Here's how your organization can help employees be successful in their financial planning.

 

What Is Financial Wellness?

Financial wellness refers to how well one can meet their financial obligations, whether current or future. Financial obligations vary from person to person. but typically include:

  • Managing current bills
  • Paying debts
  • Proactively planning for retirement
  • Creating a cushion for financial emergencies

Financial wellness can often affect a person’s mental and emotional well-being, allowing them to live their life with more financial freedom.

 

What Roadblocks Are Employees Facing Around Financial Wellness?

Many challenges come hand in hand with financial wellness, one of which is simply having the resources to get started. 

According to the survey respondents, predicting future expenses was one of the biggest challenges in making financial wellness plan decisions. The hard-to-predict expenses were the cost of living, healthcare expenses, and knowing social security amounts. Budgeting for these expenses can be time-consuming and often overwhelming, causing employees to put off planning ultimately.

There are also external factors that can prohibit an employee’s ability to plan financially. Employer-sponsored retirement plans are not always accessible to all, especially employees of smaller businesses. A study by AARP found that nearly half of private sector employees, roughly 57 million Americans, do not have access to retirement savings options at work. This lack of access to retirement savings can be detrimental to one’s retirement success down the line.

 

How Can Your Organization Help?

There isn't a one-size-fits-all solution to improving your employees’ financial wellness. But helping your employees may be simpler than you think. Here are a few ways your organization can help employees with financial wellness:

  • One of the most commonly discussed financial wellness offerings for employees is employer-sponsored retirement plans. Retirement plans can look different in each organization, with some of the most popular being Roth IRAs, 401(k) plans, simple IRA plans, and even offering a savings incentive match as an added benefit. 
  • To help combat the lack of education around financial wellness, consider referrals to trusted financial planning and coaching personnel who can help employees create personalized financial plans, including retirement savings and investments. 
  • An increasingly popular benefit offering is student loan assistance. Student loan debt is among the leading financial stressors employees face, and it can be helpful to provide knowledge of refinancing options, deferrals, or help with repaying the loans. On the flip side, your organization can also offer assistance to employees currently enrolled in college as an incentive.
  • There are a variety of insurance offerings your organization can offer employees to give peace of mind during a financially burdening incident. Disability and life insurance plans are standard offerings that set employees up with financial security during an accident.

 

It's no secret that adding more robust benefits can be costly to organizations, especially small businesses. If your organization is not in a position to add on more financial costs, there are still easy ways to help employees with financial wellness. 

Start by adding retirement and financial resources to your monthly employee newsletter, informing employees of the options that are out there for them. Their organization’s simple gesture of communication can help employees stay informed and save time researching their options.

 

Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics

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